Originally Posted by MOberhardt
On the whole "vs" side, what is the overall usability for source material types, JVC vs Sony? I am following various JVC and Sony threads, including older models, and a lot of discussion on the JVC threads are using and programming HDFURY devices to trick the JVC into not doing something stupid, "something stupid" being the default JVC behavior. I have the chance to get a JVC 9000/600 new old stock under warranty ultra cheap, but after reading about all the extra hardware and tinkering I'd need to do, aside from getting a headache trying to make sense of it, I also start wondering why JVC seems to never fix anything in firmware, for obvious firmware issues. I mean that forced gamma d switching is just ludicrous. And firmware fixable.
Are the Sony units as badly supported and setup to cater for source material? I don't get that from the threads I am watching.
I'm a second generation software developer and have been playing with hardware and software as long as I can remember, as well as hobby in video areas, but this just seems both a lot of unnecessary complexity, as well as professionally insulting that JVC treat this area of their product with such utter disregard and unprofessionalism.
You don't really "need" to do anything, what you are reading about is tweaks to fine tune performance for HDR based upon all that has been learned about HDR and projection since the model you refer to was released. As you might have read on AVS and elsewhere, projection is simply not capable of reproducing HDR content with the same kind of brightness one would get with a reference flat panel (say, a Sony Z series LCD), so some have tried some "tweaks" with tone mapping to get around that. There is also the problem that the movie studios themselves are releasing content with all kinds of different HDR mastering standards, which confuses things all the more. So, even if there was a "perfect" firmware update, sometimes you find you need to tweak picture settings since the mastering process may vary title to title. For example, even with the calibrated VW285ES, RS640 and RS4500 I have on hand, sometimes I need to adjust settings title to title.
The same "limitations" on HDR performance are there for any projection system outside of an actual Dolby Cinema, so you can find similar tweaks regarding the Sony projectors (the Arve tools, "German settings," etc).
Another thing to keep in mind - up until recently, Sony didn't have any 4K projectors under $10K, so there are far more HDR capable JVC projectors in the field vs. Sonys. That's changing now with the release of the VW385ES and VW285ES, so you will see more and more tweaks posted for them. The RS400 / 500 / 600 have been out for almost 3 years, so of course there is much more written about them.
My understanding is that the new Sonys will automatically switch between HDR and "normal" settings without a picture mode change. However, that's for the default Sony settings. If you go in and create a calibrated preset, you need to manually select it when changing source materials.
I understand your pain - it's part of being on the cutting edge of technology. :/
On the other side, think of all the people who bought 4K flat panels several years back and have no way to take advantage of HDR and WCG at all. Newer products are always going to have refinements.
FWIW, with my old RS600 I just created my own preset for HDR using GammaD, raised the dark level setting (under HDR gamma), and then just programmed a preset into my universal remote so it would switch automatically when playing HDR content.
Last point - we helped Harman put a VW885ES into their Revel / Mark Levinson training center in CA back in December. Kris Deering came out during Harman Academy and did some of the same kind of tweaks to Harman's VW885ES that you are talking about here (involving the VW885ES and an Oppo UHD player). Same issues - how projectors handle HDR - and same types of tweaks.
My take-away? HDR is an evolving technology, especially for projectors. And it will continue to evolve. No matter when someone decides to take the jump, there will always be a new product or tweak right around the corner.